The Cycle 2 AUQA Quality Audit
The 2009 AUQA audit evaluated whether the University had met its defined purpose, as specified in its Strategic Plan. AUQA’s ‘Fitness for Purpose’ and ‘Fitness of Purpose’ approach provides for universities to assess processes (policies and procedures) and measure outcomes (standards and benchmarking) to show that they are meeting their stated objectives.
The purpose of the cycle 2 audit was to:
- assess UQ’s performance against stated objectives
- test and validate the effectiveness of UQ’s quality processes in achieving strategic objectives;
- review procedures in place to monitor and achieve those objectives; and
- assess the extent to which UQ’s quality assurance processes and outcomes meet best practice.
- Quality of Teaching; and
- Academic QA: Curriculum and Assessment.
In conducting the cycle 2 audit, AUQA:
- looked for clarity, transparency and comprehensiveness of processes and policies in each theme;
- evaluated performance outcomes over past 3 years against institutional objectives and targets;
- evaluated performance outcomes in relation to national and international academic standards
- what is the ‘level of achievement’ – is it nationally and internationally competitive?
- how are standards set, implemented and monitored?
- external validation is the key to the checking of standards.
The audit panel has based its report to UQ on:
- the UQ Performance Portfolio;
- the site visit to UQ from 30 March to 2 April 2009; and
- interviews with staff, students and extenal stakeholders.
Differences between the cycle 1 and cycle 2 audits
Cycle 1 Audit (June 2003)
- A whole of institution audit, with a focus on ‘Fitness for Purpose’
- the extent to which policies and procedures are in place to ensure UQ is meeting its own stated objectives, and their effectiveness.
Cycle 2 Audit (March 2009)
- Checks on progress with implementing cycle 1 recommendations and improvement suggestions;
- Includes an in-depth audit of two key themes;
- Focuses on ‘Fitness for Purpose’ will continue, but with a broader emphasis
- a shift in focus from process to outcomes, including performance, standards and benchmarking;
- Includes an additional focus on ‘Fitness of Purpose’
- the extent to which UQ’s quality assurance processes and outcomes meet best practice though benchmarking; and
- the extent to which UQ’s quality assurance processes and outcomes meet requirements of national and international guidelines, including the National Protocols for Higher Education Processes
National Protocols for Higher Education Processes
Higher education in Australia is delivered by institutions that meet nationally agreed criteria set out in the National Protocols for Higher Education Approval Processes. The AUQA audit panel will assess how well UQ meets the requirements of the National Protocols for Higher Education Processes.
The National Protocols for Higher Education Approval Processes:
- are a key element of the national quality assurance framework for higher education;
- provide a regulatory framework to maintain quality in higher education in Australia;
- protect the standing of Australian higher education nationally and internationally;
- assure students and the community that higher education institutions meet identified criteria;
- are implemented through a co-operative national approach to accreditation/approval processes; and
- ensure compliance through standard quality assurance processes, including external audits.
In February 2008, UQ provided AUQA with a statement outlining the University's compliance with each of the relevant criteria of the National Protocols for Higher Education Processes.
Click on the following links for further information about the cycle 2 Audit: